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Credit: Disney/Pixar

To Forky and beyond: The 15 most deranged moments of the Toy Story movies

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Jun 24, 2019

When we first glimpsed Forky in that tantalizing Toy Story 4 teaser, we knew the fourth installment of this playful franchise was going to be a wild ride. With his spork body, asymmetrical googly eyes, spindly pipe-cleaner arms, and panicked expression, Forky was a toy unlike any we'd seen before. Some have speculated that his arrival brings with it a new level of weird to this family-friendly film series. But that just shows it's time we take a look back at the first three Toy Story movies, because they've always been demented in ways both disturbing and delightful.

We've highlighted the most deranged bits of Toy StoryToy Story 2Toy Story 3and Toy Story 4, unranked and arranged by movie. It's the franchise's wackiest moments, the most vicious villains, and the weirdest scenes, from infinity to beyond.

Spoilers below for every single Toy Story movie — including Toy Story 4!

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Sid, Toy Story

Andy was a good boy who dedicatedly loved his toys, treating them well with cuddles and playtime — but next door neighbor Sid was a toy's worst nightmare. This bad boy became the franchise's first Big Bad through a string of horrid behavior. He tossed a Pizza Planet alien to into the snapping jaws of his vicious dog. He snatched his sister's dolly, then through a sadistic surgery swapped its head with a toy pterodactyl. He strapped a rocket to Buzz Lightyear's back, fully intending to blow the astronaut into smithereens. He's a mean-spirited little jerk with a penchant for sadism. So it's probably a good thing Andy and his family moved away when they did. 

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"Cannibal" Toys, Toy Story

More alarming than Sid was the reveal of his mutant toys. Most of us knew a kid like Sid growing up. But his creepy creations crawling out of the shadows gave audiences an unexpected scare. Decapitated doll heads, severed stuffed hands, and dismembered Barbie limbs emerge hooked up to spidery erector-set legs, a jack-in-the-box spring, or a tiny fishing rod. To Woody's horror, they silently swarm the abandoned parts of the dino-dolly, and Buzz declares them "cannibals!" Of course, we soon learn these toys aren't the monsters they appear. Rather, they are a caring community who repairs what the wretched Sid rips asunder. In the end, they even help team up with Woody teach Sid a (potentially traumatizing) lesson: "Play nice!" 

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Woody Uses Buzz's Dismembered Arm To Trick His Friends, Toy Story

Sid's house offered plenty of bizarre moments. One of the more delightful involved Buzz's arm, which had been broken off after he failed to fly. ("And I will go sailing...no....more!") Despondent, Buzz refuses to help Woody urge their friends across the way into a rescue mission. When Woody asks for a "hand," Buzz takes it literally, chucking up his unhinged limb. Trying to convince Andy's toys all is well, Woody puppets the arm the best he can, even making up a special handshake. But when his ruse is revealed, the toys are convinced that the jealous cowboy murdered his space cadet rival. 

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Jessie's Backstory, Toy Story 2

Easily one of the most moving moments of this film series, the reveal of Jessie's backstory was also pretty twisted. Not in its content, but in what it does to the audience's heads. The flashback of Jessie's time with her owner, Emily, begins with joy as they play, then creeps into hurt as she's forgotten beneath the girl's bed, then ends in devastation as this crushed cowgirl is discarded. Sarah McLachlan's mournful song "When She Loved Me," makes this heartache sing deep inside all of us. To kids, it sends the anxiety-inducing message that your toys miss you when you're away. To adults, it demands we feel shame for every single one of the childhood playthings we have left behind. As the story moves on, we're forced to sit with the guilt that we all are heartbreakers like Emily. 

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That Thieving Chicken, Toy Story 2

What kind of man steals a toy from a child? The kind of man who dresses in a chicken suit. The first of three villains introduced in Toy Story's much-anticipated sequel, Al The Toy Collector is way worse than the unboxed Evil Emperor Zurg. He not only steals Woody from Andy's yard sale but also plots to ship him off to a toy museum where the caring cowboy will never be played with again. This film asserts that toys are meant for playtime. Without it, they feel lonely, unloved, and sometimes grow maniacally furious. So, Al isn't just a thief with a bad combover — he's a callous kidnapper who would doom Woody to a life of isolation and misery. 

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The Diabolical Stinky Pete, Toy Story 2

Sure, he seemed like a kindly ol' prospector just happy to have Woody back into the fold of cowboy toys — but when Woody tried to return to his beloved Andy, we saw just how stinky Pete could be. A lifetime stuck in a box, away from the loving arms of a kid, made this toy deeply bitter. And so he manipulates Jessie and Woody to get his way, specifically a one-way ticket to a Japanese toy museum, where he's convinced himself he'll be happy, safe from the grubby hands of children. But Stinky Pete gets violent when Buzz and the gang try to intervene. He punches Buzz, rips Woody, and threatens to tear the cowboy to pieces. However, this cantankerous toy gets his comeuppance (or perhaps a shot at redemption) when the finale pairs him with Barbie-loving Amy. She's an artist!  

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The Monkey, Toy Story 3

The Musical Jolly Chimp is a real toy, likely designed in the darkest bowels of hell. And Toy Story 3's version captured this perturbing plaything perfectly. Behold the horror of those beady eyes, the unholy screech ripping through his sharp teeth, and the clashing of his symbols as he uses them to pummel Woody. This menacing monkey was the unblinking night watch at Sunnyside Day Care, keeping the toys scared and submissive. But once he was bound up in scotch tape and tossed in a drawer, audiences and Woody's gang took a deep sigh of relief.  

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Big Baby, Toy Story 3

The Monkey wasn't the only creepy-looking toy at Sunnyside. Big Baby's wore his hardscrabble life on his skin. His pastel yellow onesie and bonnet are long-gone, leaving his pale doll belly crudely exposed. His wonky eye is a constant reminder of the rough tumble off a truck's bumper. His limbs are scribbled in pen, giving the resemblance of prison tattoos. And sitting eerie and alone at night in a dark playground makes this doll seem like the toy most likely to go full Chucky. But while Big Baby is the muscle of Sunnyside's shady mafia, he's not bad deep down. He's just broken-hearted, ever pining for his Momma Daisy, and long misled by his friend Lotso. 

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"An Evil Bear Who Smells Of Strawberries," Toy Story 3

Pink, cuddly, and sweet-smelling, Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear seems like a kindly leader at this colorful daycare. But Woody and the gang soon learn he's set up Sunnyside in a cruel caste system of "the keepers" and "the disposable." His Caterpillar Room is a killing field flooded daily by screaming, reckless children that treat toys with no respect or care. And to keep himself and his minions out of their mitts, he'll go to extreme lengths of manipulation, threats, imprisonment, and violence. He lies to his best friend Big Baby. He gives Buzz amnesia by setting him to "demo mode." He roughs up Chatter Phone to get info on Woody's escape plan. And worst of all, even after Woody and Buzz save him from the merciless maw of the trash compactor, Lotso leaves them to die in the incinerator. When it comes to the most demented bit of the Toy Story series, nothing compares to Lotso. 

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The Junkyard Incinerator, Toy Story 3

OK. Well, this is a close second. From act one, Woody and the gang fear being thrown in the trash and rotting away. But the reality of the junkyard is even worse than they imagined. After narrowly escaping the blades of the trash compactor, they thought they were safe. But what Rex mistook for sunlight was the ruthless fire of the incinerator. Andy's toys are carried forth on an unstoppable wave of garbage destined for a fiery doom. And even the jaded in the audience worry. For what possible escape the toys could muster? But rather than panic, the toys take comfort in that they are together. They join hands and face their impending deaths with quiet dignity. Then thankfully the deus ex machina comes in the form of those goofy Pizza Planet aliens and their long devotion to "the claw!"  Phew. That one was too close. 

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Ken's Fashion Show, Toy Story 3

But not all the deranged bits of this sequel were disturbing! Sure, Ken was a deceitful jerk who was living it up in his dream house while he supported a corrupt system that through many of his fellow toys into daily torment. But his love of Barbie helped him see the light, inspired him to advocate for change and plead, "Sunnyside could be cool and groovy if we treated each other fair!" But Ken's biggest, brightest, most bizarre moment was when he took a break from all his plotting and Lotso-appeasing to try to impress Barbie with an impromptu fashion show. He brought the looks, looks, looks and a side order of face. When he cries out in exasperation, "No one appreciates clothes here, Barbie!" We felt that. And we loved him for it.

New TOY STORY 4 "Forky" Clip

Forky, Toy Story 4

Forky is Toy Story 4's version of Frankenstein's monster. He was created with hard work and little forethought. He doesn't understand why he exists. He looks a bit wonky, and kids love him.

While a lonely Bonnie cried at kindergarten orientation, Woody surreptitiously slung some craft supplies her way along with a plastic spork from the trash. From that, the inventive little girl made a friend. But much like Buzz in Toy Story, Forky doesn't initially understand that he's a toy. Unlike Buzz, Forky believes he is trash. So in a funny by unsettling montage, Forky repeatedly tries to escape his toy existence, hurling himself into garbage cans seeking the sweet, stinky embrace of trashy oblivion. Forky will also let loose with some uncomfortable truths (like maybe Woody is trash too?), make some dubious friends, and enjoy a bit of mayhem. But in the end, this mad craft project finds his place in the toy community. And he even gets his own funky bride with a bold beehive 'do that feels like a nod to Bride of Frankenstein

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Gabby Gabby's Body Horror Plan, Toy Story 4

There's always been something faintly creepy about those baby dolls that bat their eyelashes when you wiggle them. And Gabby Gabby will do little to change their reputation. She's the dangerous diva of the antique shop, watching from her glass cabinet fortress, being driven around in a baby stroller by her dummy minions, and scaring the other toys to the sanctuary of a dusty pinball machine. Like Stinky Pete before her, Gabby Gabby's gone a bit mad waiting for her turn at playtime. Her broken voice box warbled recording has kept her from the child's love she longs for. So she wants the voice box attached to Woody's pull string. And if she can't cajole him into self-mutilation, she'll take it by force or by ransoming the clueless Forky. In short, she's Chatty Cathy meets Norma Desmond. And we wouldn't want her any other way. 

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Gabby Gabby's dummy minions, Toy Story 4

Ventriloquist dolls are inherently unnerving. Their shiny dead eyes and jabbering jaws have long been the stuff of nightmares and Goosebumps. But in Toy Story 4, Benson and his brothers have some extra unnerving elements to their design. Like Sid's toys from Toy Story, they don't talk. The only sounds they admit is the wooden clicks and clunks from their chattering teeth and spindly legs as they chase after any who cross their mistress. But this frightening foursome's most disturbing quirk is how they keep guard of Gabby Gabby's cabinet. They sit as sentinels around its top, their heads spinning slowly and the whole way, 360 degrees of The Exorcist-style spookiness. Sure, we've seen Woody and Big Baby pull this before. But there's something freshly frightening when this head-turning involves those darn dummies. 

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Bonus: Fan Theories

Not all the deranged bits of Toy Story are canon. There are some fan theories that are pretty disturbing! One curious theory posits that the Emily who abandoned Jessie at a roadside charity drop all those years ago grew up to be Andy's Mom. Another popular theory claims that Andy's dad — who was also named Andy — was Woody's first owner. That'd explain how a '90s kid is playing with a cowboy toy from a '50s puppet show. But this theory gets dark, involving childhood illness, a contamination-killing fire, and a partially paralyzed Andy Sr. crawling out into the yard to rescue Woody, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog from its flames. According to this one, Andy was gifted his dad's toys by a dying Andy Sr. And the saddest bit of all: Woody doesn't realize this new Andy isn't his original owner. How's that for messed up!?

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